The 2016 Orionid Meteor Shower Peaks Tonight

October 20, 2016 – Earth has entered a stream of debris from Halley’s Comet, source of the annual Orionid meteor shower.  Forecasters expect the shower to peak during the night of Oct. 20-21 with as many as 10-20 meteors per hour.

The best time to look is during the hours before local sunrise on Oct. 21st when Orion is high in the sky. Unfortunately, the bright gibbous Moon will be high in the sky, too. Only the brightest Orionids will be visible through the glare.

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Now for the good news: NASA’s network of all-sky meteor cameras recorded 11 Orionid fireballs over the USA the night before the peak. It might be worth looking, after all. Visit Spaceweather.com for observing tips and more information.

orionids

This sky map shows the location of the Orionid radiant near the shoulder of the constellation Orion.  Unfortunately the gibbous Moon is there, too.  Lunar glare will wipe out all but the brightest Orionids this year.